According to statistics, in the 2022-23 financial year, on average, every Australian consumed 263 eggs. With the growing demand for eggs, farms are under high pressure to produce more eggs yearly.
However, the finest eggs can be produced only from happy hens. Proper nesting boxes play a major role in keeping your hens happy. So, let’s find out how here…
1. It reduces your flock’s stress
While laying eggs, hens seek quiet and sheltered spaces to feel secure. High stress also worsens your hens’ egg quantity and quality.
Nesting boxes provide security and a calm and stress-free environment for your hens. This keeps your hens psychologically and, thus, physically healthy and happy.
2. It gets rid of egg-eating habits
Chickens are omnivorous, so while it sounds weird, your hen may peck on their eggs after laying them. This happens especially if you’re late and they feel hungry. If one hen starts pecking, the others copy her, and you’ll lose all the eggs.
Nesting boxes reduce these chances in several ways. For instance, the private and secluded space makes the eggs less accessible to your hens’ mouths to peck. It reduces the overall visibility of the eggs. Thus, the temptation to peck is reduced.
These boxes promote natural nesting behaviours, reduce stress, and suppress abnormal egg-eating habits.
3. Your chicken will be warm during colder seasons
Some nesting boxes, like those from Nesty Boxes brand, come with in-built insulators. These regulate the perfect temperature for your hens.
The regulated temperature keeps them cosy and happy throughout the harsh winters and encourages healthy egg-laying.
4. It’s a great hygiene measure
Nesting boxes are easy to clean. Thus, you can easily tidy up your hen’s feces and litter quickly. This ensures your hens are always in a healthy environment. They won’t easily catch diseases.
On the other hand, if they lay the eggs in an open space, they’ll also pass stool and urine all over. That mess can be quite difficult to clean. Even if you try to clean well, you may miss a spot, leading to diseases of the entire flock.
5. Egg collection doesn’t disturb the hens
If you get nesting boxes with rollaway systems, you can maintain great egg hygiene and peace for your hens on the farm.
Your eggs will roll away from the chicken. Hence, it won’t come into contact with fecal matter, coop litter, or other contaminants. You won’t have to invest extra time to clean the eggs.
When you collect the eggs, you won’t have to move your hens while resting. You also won’t have to deal with their aggression or protective instincts. Thus, your hens’ peace of mind won’t be disturbed.
6. It helps train young hens
Pullets or young hens who haven’t entered their laying phase don’t know proper nesting behaviour. As a result, they may end up ruining their eggs by laying them in unsafe places.
They may get ostracised from the group and feel left out. This often spikes stress in young ones. It also leads to a drastic effect on your business. Training a stressed bird to lay eggs in a particular place is hard.
However, they learn appropriate nesting behaviour when introducing pullets to nesting boxes. They get familiar with the secure spot, lay eggs like all other hens, and integrate much more smoothly with the flock.
7. It promotes better social bonds
In a standard nesting box, you can house about 3-8 hens comfortably, depending on the size of your hens. These boxes promote social interactions among your hens as they share nests.
They become more cooperative and create a communal environment within the flock. The social bond also reduces stress among hens.
8. It ensures your hens’ comfort
Some nesting boxes have a comfortable environment with cushioned seats. In others, you can add nesting materials like hay or straw to create a cosy space.
Compared to nests in open spaces, the nesting materials in these boxes won’t get pecked on or torn apart by the hens. This ensures your hens enjoy a comfortable experience while egg-laying.
9. It discourages broodiness
The eggs sold in the market aren’t fertilised. They don’t need to be sat on for warmth as they’ll never hatch into chicks.
Without a nesting box, hens’ eggs are always in front of them. So, they mistake the presence of eggs for becoming mother hens.
Instead of laying more eggs, they focus on warming them and act aggressively towards other hens and you if you collect eggs. This is called broodiness.
Nesting boxes prevent that from happening as the eggs aren’t visible to them. The designated space also reduces the chance of other hens being stressed from one hen’s broodiness.
Nesting boxes help your hens feel safer and enjoy smooth egg-laying experiences. However, it has many other functions, such as keeping eggs clean, facilitating prompt egg collection, and reducing egg breakage. To avail of these benefits, invest in some nesting boxes right away!